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Shocking and devastating news out of London today: Anthony Minghella – the British-born director of Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and The English Patient, for which he won a Best Director Oscar – has died unexpectedly aged 54. He underwent surgery for a growth on his neck last week and appeared to be recovering well, according to BBC NEWS. Sadly, Minghella suffered a “fatal brain hemorrhage” this morning.

The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw says that people were concerned last week when Minghella didn’t show up to a screening:

The first anyone reportedly sensed something being wrong was on Friday when he failed to attend a private screening for his latest film, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. That night he was taken to hospital for reported tonsillitis. A close associate of his told me that little more is known, other than that Anthony Minghella always worked himself punishingly hard, and poured himself emotionally into every project.

As previously mentioned, Minghella’s most recent work was directing The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, an upcoming TV-movie starring Jill Scott and Dreamgirls actress Anika Noni Rose. Singer-actress Scott actually talks about the film in today’s Times.

Anthony Minghella’s younger brother is Robin Hood creator Dominic Minghella. Our thoughts are with him and Anthony’s other loved ones during this difficult time.

Read tributes at The Guardian and Greencine Daily.

In other news, the BAFTA Television Award nominations were announced earlier today. Cranford, a BBC five-part costume drama, leads with four nominations, including two nods for its lead actresses, Dame Judi Dench and Dame Eileen Atkins. Life On Mars is up for Best Drama again this week, facing off against last year’s victor, The Street. David Mitchell, whom you can see on BBC AMERICA’s That Mitchell and Webb Look, is nominated for Best Comedy Performance for his sitcom, Peep Show.

Meanwhile, Coronation Street was snubbed in the Best Continuing Drama category. And The Guardian‘s Gareth McLean notes the lack of female nominees in the Comedy Performance category: “What do the nominations tell us? Judging from the all-male nominees in both the comedy performance and the entertainment performance categories, they tell us that women aren’t funny or entertaining.”

Here’s a partial list of nominees:

* ANDREW GARFIELD – Boy A (Channel 4)
* TOM HARDY – Stuart: A Life Backwards (BBC Two)
* MATTHEW MACFADYEN – Secret Life (Channel 4)
* ANTONY SHER – Primo (BBC Four)

* EILEEN ATKINS – Cranford (BBC One)
* JUDI DENCH – Cranford (BBC One)
* GINA MCKEE – The Street (BBC One)
* KIERSTON WAREING – It’s A Free World (Channel 4)

* SIMON AMSTELL – Never Mind The Buzzcocks (BBC Two)
* ALAN CARR & JUSTIN LEE COLLINS – The Friday Night Project (Channel 4)
* HARRY HILL – Harry Hill’s TV Burp (ITV1)

* PETER CAPALDI – The Thick of It (BBC Four)
* JAMES CORDEN – Gavin and Stacey (BBC Three)
* STEPHEN MERCHANT – Extras Christmas Special (BBC One)
* DAVID MITCHELL – Peep Show (Channel 4)

Sky+AUDIENCE AWARD for the Programme of the Year

* BOY A – John Crowley, Lynn Horsford, Mark O’Rowe (Channel 4/Cuba Pictures)
* COMING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN – Greg Brenman, Roanna Benn, Mark Haddon, Julie Anne Robinson (BBC One/Tiger Aspect Productions Ltd)
* THE MARK OF CAIN – Tony Marchant, Nicola Shindler, Lynn Horsford, Marc Munden (Channel 4/Red Production Company)
* THE TRIAL OF TONY BLAIR – Alistair Beaton, Simon Cellan-Jones, Hal Vogel, David Aukin (More 4/Daybreak Pictures)

* LIFE ON MARS – Production Team (BBC One/Kudos Film and Television Ltd)
* ROME – John Melfi, Anne Thomopoulos, Bruno Heller, Tim Van Patten (BBC Two/HBO)
* SKINS – Production Team (E4/Company Pictures)
* THE STREET – Production Team (BBC One/Granada Productions)

* BRITZ – Peter Kosminsky, David Aukin, Hal Vogel, Steve Clark-Hall (Channel 4/Daybreak Pictures)
* CRANFORD – Sue Birtwistle, Simon Curtis, Heidi Thomas (BBC One/BBC Drama Productions/WGBH Boston in association with Chestermead Ltd)
* FIVE DAYS – Paul Rutman, Otto Bathurst, Simon Curtis, Gwyneth Hughes (BBC One/BBC Drama Productions/HBO)
* MURPHY’S LAW – Greg Brenman, Stephen Smallwood, Russell Lewis, Colm McCarthy (BBC One/Tiger Aspect Productions)

* THE BILL – Johnathan Young, Tim Key, Maxwell Young, Robert Del Maestro (ITV1/TalkbackTHAMES)
* EASTENDERS – Production Team (BBC One/BBC Drama Productions)
* EMMERDALE – Keith Richardson, Kathleen Beedles, John Anderson, Tim Dynevor (ITV1/ITV Productions)
* HOLBY CITY – Production Team (BBC One/BBC Drama Productions)

* CALIFORNICATION – Tom Kapinos, David Duchovny, Scott Winant (Five/CBS Paramount International)
* FAMILY GUY – Seth MacFarlane, David A. Goodman, Chris Sheridan, Danny Smith (BBC Three/20th Century Fox)
* HEROES – Tim Kring, Joe Pokaski, Paul Edwards, Dennis Hammer (BBC Two/SCI FI Channel/NBC Universal Television)
* MY NAME IS EARL – Greg Garcia, Bobby Bowman, Henry Lange, Jr., Marc Buckland (Channel 4/Twentieth Century Fox)

In other news:

  • Dame Maggie Smith is battling breast cancer, it has been revealed. Her prognosis is “good,” reports The Daily Mail.

  • Did Emma Watson hang up on Lily Allen? Watson and Harry Potter co-star Rupert Grint were out shopping together when Lily dialed Grint’s mobile seeking some friendly advice. According to Digital Spy, “Rupert was trying on suits when his mobile rang in his jacket, which he’d hung next to Emma. She picked up the call and I heard her say: ‘Why am I answering his phone? Because he’s rather occupied at the moment. Is there something you want?’ The insider added: “Emma listened to the person on the phone for a bit and then she said: ‘We’re busy right now, like you should be, Lily.'”
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Filed Under: Anthony Minghella
By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.